DIY Lighted Marquee Sign for Halloween

For this year I decided to do a Circus themed Halloween party.  One of the major props for the part was supposed to be a large lighted “Circus” marquee sign (also called dimensional lettering).

There are more than few tutorials on how to make such sign, most of them involve using some kind of thin sheet […]

November 5th, 2015|diy, How To, Laser machine|Comments Off on DIY Lighted Marquee Sign for Halloween

How to add beam combiner to SH-G350 laser cutter

CO2 Laser cutters are insanely cool, but there’s one problem. We cannot see infrared beam, so it’s always a guesswork where laser is actually will hit the work piece. Many laser cutters including SH-G350 come with a red laser pointer attached near head cone, but they are far from accurate.  One that came with my machine annoyed me to the point that I disconnected it completely. It never points to where laser is cutting (mine was about an inch off to the side) and it can only be adjusted up or down. Spot gets larger or smaller depending on where your z-table is located. And to make things worse,there was something wrong with mine as it kept on overheating and fading.

So what is beam combiner and why would you want one?

As you can see from the illustration beam combiner is a special lens that only let’s certain wavelengths thru, and reflects all others. In our case Infrared laser beam passes thru it, while visible red laser reflects. By adjusting angle of the lens you can get both beams to travel same path.  You can actually see where IR laser beam is going and where it will end up on the table!

No more guessing, where you cut will be. As added bonus this makes it insanely easy to align mirrors. You don’t have to burn pieces of paper anymore! But wait, there’s more 🙂 ZnSe lens will also focus red laser beam, so you can even see if focal distance to the object is ideal!

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July 10th, 2015|3D Printing, diy, How To, Laser machine|5 Comments

DIY Fume Extractor for laser cutter

If you have a laser cutter/engraver machine, you know how import it is to get rid of the toxic and stinky fumes it creates, especially if you are cutting and engraving plastics.

There are generally two options for getting rid of fumes. Either vent them outside, or use some kind of filtration system or both. Since my laser cutter is located in the basement and I currently have no simple way of getting ventilation to outside I knew I needed a recirculating fume extractor.   Device like that will intake all the fumes, filter them out and blow out clean air, all of it staying in the room.

One problem in getting one is the cost. These filters costs sometimes as much as laser cutter itself, sometimes even more.  And then you have to buy specific or propitiatory filters which also not cheap as well.

That’s why I chose to build my DIY extractor. There were about 3 designs I could find online, and the best one in my option was from this Instructable.  So that’s what I eventually build.  You might ask what am I writing about here?   Well original article was great, yet I found it lacked some details. My goal in this post is to document and explain my build, as well as provide missing pieces, basically a build log.  I’ll have more pictures and videos, so between this post and original instructable it should be easier to figure out how to build one 🙂

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June 11th, 2015|diy, Laser machine|0 Comments

Laser engraving slate

I got my laser machine primary for cutting, but lately I’ve been getting hooked on engraving as well. Mostly I’m fascinated by engraving on stone, such as slate. I see a lot of people making fun things like drink coasters and cheese cutting boards.

It wasn’t easy obtaining slate stone here in US. Online it’s very […]

June 3rd, 2015|How To, Laser machine|1 Comment

Laser mirror alignment jig V2

Recently I created a 3D printed “target” holder to help with 2nd laser mirror alignment.  This is a much improved “jig”, that now allows to align both mirrors.

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April 29th, 2015|diy, How To, Laser machine|1 Comment

DIY Pin table Update

Some time ago I wrote about Pin table (a.k.a. vector table) I made for my laser cutter.   It kind of worked, but I had issue with rivets moving slightly. This caused some issues when cutting/engraving at high speed, as whole work-piece shook.  I also wanted to have more pins to hold smaller parts form […]

April 8th, 2015|diy, How To, Laser machine|1 Comment

Second mirror laser alignment jig for Laser Cutter/Engraver

Recently I had some minor issues with my Shenhui 50W eBay laser machine. Laser beam was not reaching 3rd mirror in the center, so I had to re-align 2nd mirror to make corrections.  Normally this is a long and tedious process of moving laser head to different positions, attaching sticky tape, firing laser and then trying […]

April 7th, 2015|diy, How To, Laser machine|1 Comment

How to level Laser Cutter’s Z-table

Today I’ll show you how to level Z-table if you have a laser cutter similar to SH-G350, a.k.a. 50Watt eBay laser machine.

My machine came with a z-table that can be raised or lowered manually by rotating a handle. While trying to cut a 1/4″ piece of plywood I noticed that distance from laser head is greater toward the front of the machine. This causes incomplete cuts on that area.  Here’s how to fix it.

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March 31st, 2015|How To, Laser machine|0 Comments

DIY Pin Table for laser cutter

If you just doing laser engraving, you don’t really need to worry much about supporting your objects, however when you cutting them, it’s another story. Laser beam slices thru material and continues to whatever lies beneath. If it’s just plain metal table it will reflect back scoring or melting your object from underneath. This is […]

March 13th, 2015|diy, How To, Laser machine|3 Comments

LaserOrigami: a creative way make 3D object with laser cutter

I think it’s about time I introduced new category.  “Around the Web” that is, where I’ll post cool things I find online, like this LaserOrigami article.

We all know that laser cutter can be used to cut and engrave objects. But did you know you can also bend acrylic with it?  I didn’t until I saw this […]

March 11th, 2015|Around the Web, Laser machine|0 Comments